Freedom Communications Files Chapter 11 Plan

Staff Report
The Associated Press

IRVINE, Calif. (AP) - Newspaper and television owner Freedom Communications says it has reached a compromise with creditors on a reorganization plan to emerge from Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.

Freedom says the plan released Thursday cuts its secured debt by more than half to $325 million from $770 million and gives lenders ownership of the company. A bankruptcy court in Wilmington, Del., still must approve any reorganization plan.

Freedom, which publishes The Orange County Register in California and more than two dozen other dailies, filed for bankruptcy protection last September. Like other publishers, it saw revenue tumble as the recession deepened and readers and advertisers shifted to the Web.

In Texas, Freedom's holdings are The Brownsville Herald, the Valley Morning Star of Harlingen, The Monitor of McAllen, Odessa American, the Mid-Valley Town Crier of Weslaco, and KFDM-TV in Beaumont, Texas.